Are you ready to incorporate the Waldorf philosophy into your daily life? It’s a great, developmentally appropriate approach to childhood. And it doesn’t need to be complicated!
There are some simple changes you can make to your routine that will bring the magic of Waldorf home for your child.
But first, let’s go over the basics of Waldorf education.
What is the Waldorf method?
Waldorf education was developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Steiner believed that children learn best through experience. That is, by doing rather than observing.
Waldorf schools want to engage the head, heart, and hands in learning, so you will find lots of opportunities for kids to play and use their imaginations. It’s nothing like traditional public schools!
In Waldorf schools and homes, kids are given the opportunity to be in charge of their own learning and play. They have a choice about what they do and for how long. Most of their time is spent playing freely, which helps them develop prosocial behaviors, problem solving skills, and fine and gross motor skills. This kind of learning also primes their brains for more academic learning as they get older (though older Waldorf kids still have lots of free choice).
- Simple toys (to encourage imagination)
- Free play
- Outdoor play
- Limited technology
- Art, music, and theater every day
Get started with Waldorf at home
The best thing you can do at home is to give children open time to play with no interruptions. But you’ll need to make sure the activities that are available to them are in line with the Waldorf approach.
That means put away the tablets and battery-operated toys, and introduce your child to the beauty of open-ended materials!
Many Waldorf parents like to have a Waldorf Rocker in the home. It’s a climber that can also be used to build a fort (try a set of clips for building forts with sheets!), to pretend to sail the seas, to attach to another climber...let your child’s imagination run wild with it! You’ll be amazed what kids come up with when they have the time and the right equipment.
You’ll also want to have some high quality toys that provide lots of ways to play. The idea is that your child can be flexible and creative with their play without needing a bunch of different things that all only serve one purpose.
- Art supplies like paint, scissors, glue, and lots of different media (try painting old cardboard boxes or tissue paper!)
- Music that kids can access to turn on and off themselves
- Musical instruments: drums, maracas, you name it
- Play silks
- Wooden toys that can be used in many ways
A great option for wooden toys is a set of Waldorf Forest Animals. The animals are solid wood and beautifully painted. They provide just enough of a start for kids to explore in many ways. They might build a house with blocks for the animals, or perhaps they’ll use them to act out a fairy tale.
Cassarokids has a variety of Waldorf-inspired rockers and playthings. Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned pro, our collection has something for everyone!